Dr. Linda Bream: Empowering Youth to Fulfill Their Dreams
May 17, 2019
For three years, Linda Bream has been a dedicated and caring member of the Children's Foundation Board of Directors, and is especially passionate about her role as a member of the Scholarship Committee. When Linda was approached by another Children’s Foundation Board Member, and asked to join the Board, she knew without question this was a good fit. Linda has always worked with children and is a compassionate and caring individual who understands the variables that affect children's lives. As Linda explains, "children are my passion and always have been."
Linda was most excited to join the Scholarship Committee because she is concerned about the direction that young people take in life, and keenly aware that negative factors in their upbringing, might deter them from dreaming of and achieving success. As she explains, “providing scholarships for young people graduating from high school and entering college empowers them to accomplish their dreams." Financial assistance empowers youth as it "levels the playing field" for them, giving them an equal opportunity to pursue their life goals.
Linda notes that students who receive Children’s Foundation scholarships aren't necessarily achieving the high marks typically associated with winning scholarships, but rather are youth who have had to work extra hard at school or in life to overcome hardships such as poverty, learning challenges, family or personal struggles including addictions or mental health issues. These students demonstrate valuable qualities such as resiliency and perseverance which can take them far in life, and should be recognized for all they’ve overcome and accomplished in graduating high school.
By offering scholarships to high school graduates who have dealt with adversity in their lives, young people are better able to focus on their studies in University or College. Help towards their tuition or books takes a lot of pressure off of an individual, giving them a much needed boost to work extra hard, knowing they have the support and encouragement of the foundation and its donors behind them..
One of Linda's best experiences as a Board member was handing out the Future Fund Scholarship last year during the graduation ceremony at St. John Bosco, an alternative learning high school in Guelph. From this experience, Linda more fully realized that the scholarships provided made students feel validated, cared for and supported in a life-changing way, adding to their confidence to pursue their dreams.
Linda has always felt that it is so important to give back to the community, saying “it's a big part of what I value." Working as a psychologist in the community in the area of children's mental health, she explains that volunteering is her way of giving back to children. "Breaking the cycle of poverty is extremely important and we need to focus on our children more," says Linda.
She also volunteers for The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children and Families and realizes that her volunteer experience with both Nightingale and the Children’s Foundation benefits her own mental health. She gets to meet many wonderful people in the community with shared values, which is very 'uplifting.'
Linda is a Child Clinical Psychologist, mother, and owner of three dogs that she loves to walk in the woods. We are so fortunate that she has also dedicated some of her time to volunteer with us. We just wouldn't be the same without her compassion, knowledge and understanding of issues facing children and youth who are facing adversity. Thank you Linda for being a champion and advocate for youth!